Jeff Myers
Rachel Calloway
JACK Quartet
Catalog Number: 
#1 035
new classical
new music
Release Date: 
May 31, 2024
1 CD
One Sheet: 

Requiem, the highly-anticipated debut album from composer Jeff Myers, gently and beautifully addresses one of the most difficult aspects of our humanity; this is an essential, welcome, and modern take on the universal experience of death and loss. Through his unique combination of lyric vocal lines, microtonality, and just intonation, Myers achieves a rapturous space of solace that feels suspended in time.  Tempering his traditionally “brilliant and powerful” (The Classical Voice of New England) style with a tender intimacy, Myers builds a mysterious and compelling sound world that is immediately gripping and deeply cathartic. The main work on the album, Requiem Aeternam, unfurls in two parts: I. Grieving and II. Dying. It interweaves a secular exploration of death by diverse poets such as Rumi, Petrarch, Frida Schanz, and Oscar Wilde with a traditional Filipino lullaby and Christian liturgical texts.  

Written as a response to the sudden death of Myers’ sister-in-law in 2010, this music provides an earthly path for integration and emotional processing outside the containers of any strictly religious context. Poignant, healing, and transcendent, the work is a modern masterpiece, expertly brought to life by the GRAMMY-nominated JACK Quartet and renowned vocalist Rachel Calloway.

The final track on the album, dopamine, is an early collaboration between Myers and the JACK Quartet from 2009. In this fascinating tapestry of color, the re-tuned quartet plays almost entirely in harmonics to create a kind of meta-instrument that offers a both resonance and bite, driven to glorious capitulation. 

This compelling album combines material that is at once personal and universal with the intimacy of one of the world’s leading string quartets, and a voice of “penetrating clarity… [and] considerable depth of expression.” (The New York Times) The result is a highly charged and exciting encapsulation of Myers’ style and potential. 

Composer Jeff Myers writes “engrossing [music… that] draws from diverse contemporary styles… [and] elicits a wide range of sounds and colors.” (The New York Times) His violin duo, The Angry Birds of Kauai, commissioned by violinist Hilary Hahn, is featured on her Grammy-winning album In 27 Pieces: the Hilary Hahn Encores. His acclaimed operas include The Hunger Art and Maren of Vardø (with Royce Vavrek), as well as Buried Alive and The Embalmer’s Daughter (with Quincy Long). Notable collaborators and commissioners include Beth Morrison Projects, Fort Worth Opera, Orchestre National de Lorraine, Ekmeles, JACK Quartet, and pipa virtuoso Yang Jing. Myers is the recipient of awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, ASCAP, BMI, fellowships from Aspen and Tanglewood, and grants from the Alice M. Ditson Fund, NYSCA, MetLife, and many others.

Rachel Calloway brings versatility and compelling insight to stages worldwide. Her work has been praised by the New York Times for “penetrating clarity” and “considerable depth of expression” and by Opera News for her “adept musicianship and dramatic flair.” A dedicated interpreter of new music, Ms. Calloway has premiered hundreds of solo and chamber music works. Frequent collaborators include Third Coast Percussion, JACK Quartet, the Amernet Quartet, and Ensemble Signal. Ms. Calloway and her husband, violinist Ari Streisfeld, founded Duo Cortona, an ensemble dedicated to the creation and performance of new works for violin and voice.

Undeniably our generation’s “leading new-music foursome,”the GRAMMY-nominated JACK Quartet’s “stylistic range, precision and passion have made the group one of contemporary music’s indispensable ensembles”(The New York Times). Comprising violinists Christopher Otto and Austin Wulliman, violist John Pickford Richards, and cellist Jay Campbell, JACK was founded in 2005 and operates as a nonprofit organization dedicated to the performance, commissioning, and appreciation of 20th and 21st century string quartet music, synchronized in its mission to create an international community through transformative, mind-broadening experiences and close listening. Through intimate, longstanding relationships with many of today’s most creative voices, the quartet has a prolific commissioning and recording catalog, has been nominated for three GRAMMY Awards, and is the 2024 recipient of Chamber Music America’s Michael Jaffee Visionary Award.